IHG targets religious tourism with ‘world’s largest’ Voco-branded Saudi hotel

IHG targets religious tourism with ‘world’s largest’ Voco-branded Saudi hotel
Published: 14 July 2019 - 12:48 p.m.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) plans to open the world’s largest Voco-branded hotel in the Holy City of Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

The UK hospitality giant signed a deal with Saudi Arabia’s Maad International to run a 4,200-room hotel to tap into a growing religious tourism market – one that could see up to 30 million people visit to kingdom in 2030.

Voco is IHG’s upscale work-and-play hotel brand. It aims to use smart and stylish interior design and artwork that reflects the local character and personality of each property.

Voco Makkah, due to open in 2020, will be located near to the Great Mosque of Makkah, providing pilgrims with easy access to one of the most important religious sites.

Following the Voco Al Khobar, which was signed up earlier in 2019, Voco Makkah will be the brand’s second hotel Saudi Arabia — and IHG's fourth hotel.

It is unclear if an interior designer has been selected or if this scope will be carried out in-house.

Pascal Gauvin, managing director for India, the Middle East and Africa at IHG, said the business had a good track record of opening hospitality projects in Saudi Arabia, according to Commercial Interior Design's sister title, Hotelier Middle East.

“Having opened our first hotel InterContinental Riyadh in 1975, we have gained significant experience and expertise in running successful operations in KSA, and particularly in Makkah.”

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